Alabama gubernatorial candidate Scott Dawson held a press conference Tuesday at his campaign headquarters in Birmingham..
The republican says his campaign found that $800,000 dollars in grants were given to what he calls an “LGBT activist group” by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA).
Dawson claims Governor Kay Ivey’s administration has betrayed Alabama values for giving state money to the group, Free2Be.
He says he’s just one of many Alabamians who don’t know what’s really going on in Montgomery. Dawson says there’s reason to question what Ivey’s administration is doing in Montgomery.
He also defended his stance, saying it isn’t about bullying or targeting a certain group–he just wants an equal playing field.
“It is not about equal rights, this is about being selective on rights..I think it was in the Reckon debate…I feel like I answered the questions honestly and openly that we should treat everyone with respect,” Dawson said. “Every person demands respect. But the seriousness of this grant is that we placed one world view over another world view.”
A spokesperson for Kay Ivey has responded, saying, “This is utter nonsense. Governor Ivey does not support the values pushed by this organization. Scott Dawson is intentionally misleading the public for political gain. A quick Google search would have revealed the facts for Dawson.
• Not one penny of taxpayer money has gone to this organization.
• The funds being discussed are federal funds from criminal fines and forfeitures from the Department of Justice – not taxpayer revenue.
• Governor Ivey did not start the funding for this organization.
• The federal government mandated to Alabama how this money was to be spent starting in mid-2014.
• The federally mandated funding for this group started in late 2014.
• The state of Alabama is currently auditing and investigating this organization.”
Dawson says it’s important for the governor to be transparent and is calling on the state attorney general’s office to open an investigation into how the ADECA grants are being spent.
The governor’s office released a detailed statement about the grant and its distribution.
CBS 42 reached out to Free2Be Birmingham for comment via phone and email. Their Facebook page says all offices were closed as of May 11th.